If you own a restaurant today, marketing is more important than ever.
Sure, marketing has always been an important factor that drives the success of a business; but in today’s day-and-age, when there are countless restaurants, the competition is as steep as ever. If you want to stand about that competition, you are going to have to take full advantage of various marketing tactics.
One of the most powerful marketing efforts today is social media marketing. (tweet this)
It’s a highly effective tactic that expands the reach of restaurants and provides them with maximum exposure.
When done the right way, social media marketing can turn your audience into fans, and fans into loyal customers. And let’s face it; the more loyal customers you have, the more success you are going to have.
If you’re not yet making use of social media marketing for your restaurant, you really need to. Given its impressive success rate, this is one bandwagon you are absolutely going to want to jump on.
In order to use social media marketing to its fullest, you are going to need to do more than just create a Facebook or Twitter account and start posting; in order to reap the benefits of this type of marketing, you need to have an action plan.
Not sure what that action plan is? Here are 12 steps that will allow you to take full advantage of social media marketing:
The first thing you need to do is define your goals. If you don’t have a goal, you can’t successfully execute a social media plan. Determine what you hope to achieve from this marketing and then you can proceed with creating a plan that will work for your restaurant.
Who are your customers? Who are you trying to reach? If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, you aren’t going to be able to reach them via social media platforms. When you identify your targeted audience, you can determine which social media platforms they use and how to interact with them. (tweet this)
Which brings us to the third step of executing a social media marketing plan: Determining which platforms to use. Different audiences use different social media platforms. For restaurants, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are most likely going to be the platforms that your targeted audience will connect with the most. You aren’t going to want to market on platforms that your audience doesn’t frequent because, well, you just won’t reach them.
Now that you know who your audience is and what platforms they are using, you can start interacting and engaging with them. Post attention-grabbing, share-worthy images, status updates and Tweets. Get the conversation flowing and encourage your audience to interact with you. The more interaction and the more sharing, the more visible your restaurant is going to be.
Optimize your social media marketing and you will have even more visibility. In order to optimize, you are going to want to integrate targeted keywords into your posts, status updates and Tweets; you’re going to want to intertwine your website, your blog and your social media platforms so that they piggyback off of one another.
Don’t be afraid to be unique. The more unique you are, the more you are going to stand out; the more you stand out, the more attention you are going to attract; the more attention you attract, the more success you are going to have. Don’t post cookie-cutter updates and images; dare to be different and you’ll be seen.
What is your restaurant about? What is your brand? Figure out what it is and promote it. The more you promote your brand, the more established your restaurant is going to become. Customers enjoy dining at restaurants that are established and have a specific brand.
Don’t just post willy-nilly. In order to have real success, you are going to want to post at the right time. Posting at the right time ensures that your audience will see what you post. Find out when your audience frequents the social media platforms you are using and post during those times.
Don’t just post picture and don’t just post videos; mix it up. Post a combination of videos, blog posts, photos, content and audio and you’ll keep things fresh and interesting.
Don’t forget to communicate with your audience. If someone comments on your status, respond. Responding will show your audience that you care, and the more you show you care, the more loyal your audience will become.
Don’t just share your own content; share others content. By posting others content, you are paying it forward and that good deed will be repaid. Your competitors will share content from your business, which will introduce your restaurant to a whole new audience.
Monitor, track and measure your feedback and your success. Make adjustments wherever you find it is necessary and always be willing to make changes.
When it comes to social media marketing, the question is no longer, “Should I make use of it?”; today, the question is, “How do I make use of it?”
But these 12 steps into practice and you will soon reap the benefits of social media marketing.
What has been your social media plan? We want to hear from you in the comments.
Need help with your restaurant website including adding social media icons? Contact us today! We will be more than happy to help!